Brian Richter of The Nature Conservancy and University of Virginia in Water Currents
'The Army Corps of Engineers is making floods' says Brian Richter. See full article on the National Geographic website.
It’s true. I’ve seen them doing it. They’ve been doing it for years. And it’s a very good thing for fish, frogs, mussels, wetlands, and local communities that depend on the bounty of healthy river systems and estuaries for their livelihoods and economies.
As part of a decade-long partnership called the Sustainable Rivers Project, the Corps and The Nature Conservancy are collaborating in eight river basins across the U.S. to modify dam operations for the benefit of downstream river and estuary health. In five of those basins – the Savannah River in Georgia and South Carolina, the Green River of Kentucky, the Bill Williams River of Arizona, the Big Cypress Bayou of Texas, and the Willamette River in Oregon – the Corps is releasing ‘designer floods’ from their dams.
You may be surprised to learn that floods can be good for people and nature. That’s not what you hear from a media fixated on death and destruction — and to be sure, big floods like last year’s on the Mississippi provide plenty of those stories.
But river scientists hold a different – or at least a more balanced — perspective of floods.